National Guard Day at the Capitol

The Florida Department of Military Affairs and the Florida National Guard host the “Florida National Guard Day” at the Capitol Tuesday afternoon.

Lt. Col. John Haas explained what National Guard day is all about.

“Today’s day is the military appreciation day, it’s the one time a year that the National Guard and the state of Florida gets an opportunity to come here to the Capitol and display the equipment we have,” he said.

Haas added that event is to show the legislatures that they are appreciated throughout the year in making sure they are the best trained force in the National Guard.

This annual event at the Capitol highlights Guards contribution to State and Nation.

Soldiers, Airmen and their representatives brought displays to Florida’s Capitol from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The event is part of an annual program to educate the public and government personnel on various roles.

A National Guard is a part of the reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, it is a part of the reserved military force, composed of National Guard military members or units of each state and the territories.

The National Guard is the country’s oldest military branch, and has fought in every major conflict in America’s history, contributing to the organization's legacy. Since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the National Guard has transformed from a strategic reserve to a fully integrated operational force.

Drew Mitchell who works in the elections for the Department of State, experienced his first time at the National Guard Day appreciation celebration and said he is excited for next year.

“Even though I came for the food, once I saw all of the tanks, guns, knives and one of the United States Army helicopter on display I immediately took out my camera and started snapping pictures. It was great, and they deserve full respect.”

The event included the Florida National Guard’s 13th Army Band from Miami as they presented a program of military music during the lunch hour while Soldiers served hotdogs and beverages.

The Capitol plaza displayed an assortment of military equipment used during emergency and combat operations. 

By the Capitol rotunda there were information displays that described the important community service programs run by the Guard.

Haas wants to assure citizens know the National Guard is ready and here to support them for domestic crisis. Also, to express appreciation to the elected leaders for their support in making sure they have the resources necessary to do their job.